Persecuted Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is opening a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum on April 18. But prior to an 81-day detention by Chinese authorities in 2011, Ai's passport was confiscated, and he cannot travel to coordinate or even see his own exhibit. The Brooklyn show includes "Sacred," a depiction of his incarceration in six dioramas, in its first North American appearance. National Geographic met and spoke with Ai in Beijing where he lives.
This spring and summer, explore artifacts from Peru's legendary royal tombs and other ancient splendors in "Peruvian Gold: Ancient Treasures Unearthed" at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. Marvel at extraordinary works of craftsmanship, including gold masks, textiles, ceramics, and jewelry. Walk in the shoes of National Geographic archaeologists and explorers, and uncover what these objects tell us about several remarkable yet largely unknown Pre-Inca cultures dating back nearly 4,000 years. "Peruvian Gold" is on exhibition April 10 - September 14, 2014.
In celebration of her 80th birthday, see the path Jane Goodall took to become a crusader for conservation. Since her research in the 1960s with Tanzania's wild chimpanzees, Goodall has worked to inspire action on behalf of endangered species, the environment, and humanitarian causes.
Learn more about Jane Goodall and her work:
After years of botched interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations in 2013 introduced a new policy—"peace enforcement"—as part of Resolution 2098. As 2098 comes up for renewal, National Geographic takes an in-depth look at the ongoing battle for Africa's heartland: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/congo-report.
Footage source: "This Is Congo," a feature-length documentary that takes an unfiltered look at one of the world's longest ongoing wars. The film, currently in production, documents the most recent cycle of conflict with the Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed M23 rebels, who have threatened peace and stability in and around Goma for the past two years.
In Bangladesh, men desperate for work perform one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. They demolish huge ships in grueling conditions, braving disease, pollution, and the threat of being crushed or stabbed by steel sliced from the hulls.
Explore the lives of ship-breakers online in National Geographic magazine:
Your eyes are tiny spheres of wonder. A doctor can find warning signs of high blood pressure, diabetes, and a whole range of other systemic health issues, just by examining your eyes. Ophthalmologist Neal Adams explains why the eye's tissues and blood vessels make such a good barometer for wellness.
Join five scientists on a "mission to Mars" in Utah. Photojournalist Jim Urquhart embedded with Crew 138 of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station for two weeks in March. The crew describes what it's like, in their own words.
Wild orchids in South Florida were all but eliminated by humans turning them into disposable potted plants, beginning in the 1800s. A comeback is difficult because orchid seeds have only about a one-in-a-million chance of creating a new plant. But there's an effort to bring the wild orchid population back to its former glory.
The Nation's Tyrannosaurus rex, found in Montana 26 years ago, arrived early Tuesday morning at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The public will be able to see scientists scanning and performing an inventory on one of the most complete T. rex fossils ever found. Among their tasks: to determine the proper way to mount the bones for display.
Read more about the T. rex's arrival:
To entice New Yorkers away from mainstream brands, local distillers infuse their spirits with New York ingredients and atmosphere. See how two independent makers, Kings County Distillery and Greenhook Ginsmiths, are bringing the Empire State's character and distilling past into the mix.
A snowy owl that got hit by a bus and burned, possibly by a chimney, in Washington, D.C., has been fitted with new feathers on its damaged wing. The operation, called imping, was performed at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota.
Read more about the owl and the operation:
Jimmy Chin, a rock climber turned photographer and filmmaker, uses a camera to take audiences to extraordinary places that would normally be out of reach.
Learn more about Jimmy Chin and his work:
Researchers at the Dunn Ranch in Missouri trimmed bison's beards to clear the view for Crittercam collars, which they hope will offer a bison's-eye view of the American prairie. It's part of a study of bison's feeding habits, which could provide clues about these animals' role in prairie ecosystems.
BioBlitz Finds 2,300+ Species in Golden Gate Parks
Rain doesn't stop the BioBlitz. Citizen scientists scoured the waters and grounds of Golden Gates National Parks, from Muir Woods to the Presidio, for all the plant, animal, and insect species they could find in a 24-hour period. They found 2,304 species, surpassing the record. More than 80 species were new to the parks' species list. And at least 15 species were identified as threatened.
In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Hakiza Ndaba, a 58-year-old tailor, lives a life of displacement, continuously running with his family from a war that has surrounded them for decades. The feature-length documentary film "This Is Congo" follows him through two different displacement camps over the course of two years, witnessing the horrific conditions that victims of war confront on a daily basis. This is an excerpt from the film, currently in production.
"This Is Congo" takes an unfiltered look at one of the world's longest ongoing wars. The film documents the most recent cycle of conflict with the Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed M23 rebels, who have threatened peace and stability in and around Goma for the past two years.
Read an in-depth special report about the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo:
The man who showed the world melting Arctic ice in the Oscar-nominated documentary "Chasing Ice" moves his time-lapse photo project toward the South Pole. James Balog, aboard the Lindblad Expeditions ship National Geographic Explorer, sailed to Antarctica to strategically place cameras to document receding ice.
Read more about the expedition and Balog's project: